MORE than one pair of brown brogues will be looked out along with a crisp blue suit over the next few days by Rangers heroes of the past.
By this time next week Pedro Caixinha should have appointed someone with local knowledge who enjoys a standing at the club and, importantly, is available right now to assist the Portuguese in all things Rangers.
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The interviews will take place this week. Oh to be a fly on that wall.
In a strange way this could well be the most important move the Portuguese makes because he does need someone to whisper in his ear about what to say, how to say it, what’s important and not so much; being the Rangers manager is not merely winning football matches.
Get this right and Caixinha has half a chance of becoming as successful as the limitations of his job will allow. He doesn’t need a brilliant coach, he needs an advisor in all things of the Rangers variety. Not a yes man, but someone who will back his boss and still be able to point him in the right direction if he threatens to meander down a wrong path.
As things stand, Barry Ferguson, former captain, fan favourite and winner of 15 major trophies with Rangers, is the favourite to be invited to join the inner sanctum. He enjoys strong support among certain board members and, indeed, it was put to me over the weekend that the role was “Barry’s to lose”.
Caixinha comes across as a man who will make up his own mind about something so important. Nothing is a given.
There is also some uncertainty over whether Ferguson, for all his fine traits, is the right man for that job even if the 39-year-old is in many ways an ideal candidate given how many boxes he ticks.
John Brown, Lee McCulloch, Alex Rae, Nacho Novo and Neil McCann are other names which have been put forward into the public domain and, indeed, surely these are the sort who will be interviewed or at the very least have their name scribbled down on a piece of paper.
There are pros and cons with regards to all of the above – there is no such thing as a perfect choice – and it will be fascinating to see who the new manager goes with That Ferguson is a Rangers legend is not up for debate. He’s no John Greig or Richard Gough, but even those who never really took to him can hardly argue with his standing.
Ferguson is a strong character, someone who ruled that dressing room for years and didn’t mind putting noses out of joint. Not all his team-mates liked him but he was the boss of the side. A dominating captain.
Ferguson, if invited to return, wouldn’t even be playing second fiddle. As important as he would be, this is a background role. Would he be OK with this?
Whoever gets the gig must realise two things. That Caixinha is the boss but by the same token their input is going to be crucial.
The first thing Graeme Souness did when he stormed into Ibrox in 1986 was to make Walter Smith his assistant. Having been Jim McLean’s most trusted number two during Dundee United’s glory days, Smith’s appointment was hardly a risk; however, the fact he was a Rangers supporter and could keep Souness right was something money couldn’t buy.
McCulloch would be the sound choice unless Kilmarnock want to make him the permanent manager, which or course they should so.
It is anyone’s guess how this era at Rangers is going to go; however, for this to work a manager who has worked in Mexico, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Qatar really could do with a Weegie beside him. Or at least a resident of Lanarkshire.